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NorthernLights

PTE Academic ridiculous speaking score

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Anyone else get a silly speaking score unexpectedly?

 

I sat the PTE Academic last week. Got my scores today, 90, 90, 90, 60. The 60 was for speaking.

 

I'm English born and have lived exclusively in the UK and work in a professional role. I have no speech issues at all. I knew the test had a few quirks, I practiced with the official guide and made sure I didn't umm and err or leave a pause of more than 3 seconds. A couple of other people had computer issues on the day but mine seemed fine. My test finished quicker than I expected (about 2 hours) but I can't figure out what on earth happened.

 

I'm a bit shocked to be honest. It seemed to go fine. I've sent an email to query and will appeal. Has anyone had similar issues and appealed successfully?

 

Thanks

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Not familiar with the PTE test but that does look really odd, especially for a native speaker. Do you talk to a person or is it recorded?

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Dispute it, they'll try anything to fail you.. Normally for. Ielts they fail you on speaking or writing as for those there is more space for subject judgement.. I disputed a ielts writing and passed.

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Thanks for replying. It's computer assessed and scored. I foolishly thought this would take the bias out but obviously not. I don't even have a regional accent. Very strange.

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Thanks grabri, the thing that puts me off appealing is that they say the remark is done by computer again. If, for some reason, I've genuinely scored low, then fair enough, but I suspect it may be some form of technical error as I just can't see how I'd have scored that low. I mean, it doesn't even give me 10 points, never mind 20. Crazy.

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Oops sorry I am not sure then.. Sounds odd they mark speaking and writing via computer.... Do some research about it to ensure it's safe to dispute.

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That does look particularly odd. However, I just wanted to challenge a notion made by another contributor here that they will 'try anything to fail you'. If that's the case, it certainly hasn't been my experience.

 

I wonder if this might be a software glitch. PTE's systems don't always necessarily time out 100% unless you give a 3 second gap after finishing your answer before hitting next during speaking sessions; I've got a sneaky suspicion that this might cause a null value to be returned to the server in place of a recording, but couldn't prove it.

 

OP - when you gave your oral responses, did you wait until the timer ran out, or did you click the next button to move on?

 

Regardless, I do hope you get this sorted out. I could understand a drop to 80, but 60 seems somewhat bizarre when you're polling 90 on the other 3 sections. How did you do for the discrete components underneath the main four?

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Appeal it dude!! my speaking was the lowest on the PTE too (still a pass) but my Ielts speaking was 9.0. Maybe they'll manually mark it rather than this computer marking, (which I didnt know about) maybe your headset was screwed and the mic was set too quiet, or distorted.

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Hi Cider, thanks for answering. My first 2 or 3 responses I hit next without waiting for the 3 second pause. There were a couple of questions later where there wasn't enough time left for a 3 second pause but I did finish speaking. Mainly I had the pause.

Breakdown of the rest was 90 for spelling, vocabulary, written discourse, 83 grammar, 81 oral fluency and 75 pronunciation. Pronunciation is very odd as I have quite a bbc accent!

 

Perhaps it was the pause thing after all. Extremely frustrating.

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I heard through the grapevine an overall score might be coming in as of July 1st with other points score changes that are coming..

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Hi NorthernLights, was wondering if you ever had another around with PTE Academic?

 

I recently had the same experience as you. I am a Native English speaker, and during my first round, I was short of 1 point (ie: 64) for speaking. :(

I told myself that I would better prepare myself for the second round. When the 2nd round results came out, I scored a measly 48 points for speaking! Which is completely illogical as I spoke fluently and made no mistakes at all and scored almost 90 for the rest of the sections...:(:(

 

I highly suspect there is some technical problems with their computers but in no way I would be able to prove that. I also did my research to find out that a rescore is not advisable as they would just rerun it through the computer again and you'd just end up with the same scores with more money taken.

 

I am now contemplating of switching to IELTS as I have completely lost confidence and doubt the quality of assessment for PTE.

 

Anyone has a similar experience and care to shed some light?

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We've certainly found in many cases that if an applicant continues to have issues with IELTS despite multiple tests and revision, then they tend to do better with Pearson Academic, and vice versa, so it can come down to how your brain is wired for that particular test.

 

Regards,

 

Richard


Richard Gregan Registered Migration Agent 9905168, MIA 880

www.overseas-emigration.co.uk

Direct telephone 0131 625 6900

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Want to say our experience with PTE was quite straightforward. While I am not a 'native' speaker in the strictest sense, it's the only language I've spoken since the day I was born. My partner had a few goes but she just wasn't 'wired' for it. I had one go, with a little practise before and aced the exam to get 20 points. I dont think they try to fail you but I do want to say this kind of test in front of a computer with no human interaction is not meant for everyone

 

IELTS is more personal and probably a real world way of confirming your English ability but PTE needs a bit of understanding what one needs to do to get top marks.

Reading the OPs comments, hitting next without the system letting it time out coupled with a faulty mic, volume turned low etc can very easily account for the low score. Also it isnt strange to get 90 on the other 3 sections but 60 for speaking because its a very specific test, and most of us dont speak as we write so somehow the OP may not have articulated or clarified sufficiently enough to get a good score

 

All I am saying is it may not be as alarming as many are pointing out if you understand what the PTE is about

 

KnK


Karen & Ken | PRs done : Jun 16 | Moved to Aus : Dec 16 | Break from Life : Dec 16 to Feb 17 | Mel Rental, Jobs and City Life : Feb 17 | Mel Land Purchase : May 17 | Home Construction : Sept 17 | (Bye bye city and hello suburbia) Moved in : Aug 18 | and on to the next............

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Hi there,

 

My scores from first attempt was: L 88 R 88 S 67 W 90

Then after lots of speaking practice: L 89 R 76 S 69 W 88

 

The only thing I can think of for my failing the 2nd speaking section was the fact that my pen didn't work for the first retell lecture and this threw me somewhat as I fumbled around to find and get the other pen into action. I'm not sure about a third attempt at the PTE as without feedback to know where I am going wrong I'd worry that I will just keep on failing it. I'll probably get a session with a language tutor who knows what is expected for IELTS speaking and perhaps go on to try this exam instead, here in London it seems to be a well known exam, it may be that I am not suited to a fast paced computer based test !

 

Regards

 

Dominic

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On 5/29/2016 at 00:44, NorthernLights said:

Anyone else get a silly speaking score unexpectedly?

 

I sat the PTE Academic last week. Got my scores today, 90, 90, 90, 60. The 60 was for speaking.

 

I'm English born and have lived exclusively in the UK and work in a professional role. I have no speech issues at all. I knew the test had a few quirks, I practiced with the official guide and made sure I didn't umm and err or leave a pause of more than 3 seconds. A couple of other people had computer issues on the day but mine seemed fine. My test finished quicker than I expected (about 2 hours) but I can't figure out what on earth happened.

 

I'm a bit shocked to be honest. It seemed to go fine. I've sent an email to query and will appeal. Has anyone had similar issues and appealed successfully?

 

Thanks

 
 

Hi,

I have given 3 attempts at PTE. My overall score is above 80 everytime, but my speaking score never crosses 65. Initially, I thought there could be an issue with the test centre, but seeing that the low score in speaking is consistent, leads me to believe that there could be something wrong with my technique.

I stumbled upon this post while trying to figure the same out. Did you attempt to take PTE after that? If you did and if you have cleared the same, could you please provide me with some tips?

Thanks

 

Edited by ecijjkm

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Don't know about PTE but I gave IELTS 2 times and both the times I did quite well in Speaking (Getting 8.0) considering I am not a native speaker. I did slip once in writing (7.5) and once in reading (7.5) but was able to get 8.0 in all other bands. Again for me I did enough as I needed only 7 in all bands to get the required points. 

See this is the thing, IELTS or PTE is not a pass/fail exam. Some people might need 7 in all bands and some people might need 8 in all bands based on how many points they need. I don't think the examiner would know how much you are aiming for and try to score you below that. That is never going to happen. Failing in relative term in IELTS, someone might feel that they failed as they did not score all 8's but I might feel I passed as I scored all 7's. Some people who have the points already but have to write IELTS just to prove competent English will pass if they score all 6's. So the examiner has no way of know what the applicant is aiming for to target and fail them.

Edited by path2aus

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On 29/05/2016 at 05:14, NorthernLights said:

Anyone else get a silly speaking score unexpectedly?

 

I sat the PTE Academic last week. Got my scores today, 90, 90, 90, 60. The 60 was for speaking.

 

I'm English born and have lived exclusively in the UK and work in a professional role. I have no speech issues at all. I knew the test had a few quirks, I practiced with the official guide and made sure I didn't umm and err or leave a pause of more than 3 seconds. A couple of other people had computer issues on the day but mine seemed fine. My test finished quicker than I expected (about 2 hours) but I can't figure out what on earth happened.

 

I'm a bit shocked to be honest. It seemed to go fine. I've sent an email to query and will appeal. Has anyone had similar issues and appealed successfully?

 

Thanks

Hi, any luck on the rescore? I have ended up with a score of 29 on speaking even though I am a native English speaker. I was not expecting full marks by any means but i was extremely shocked by 29!

I didn't press next after I finished my speaking answer and I waited for the timer to run out before I pressed next. There were also some extremely loud candidates in my room!

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1 hour ago, helpplease said:

Hi, any luck on the rescore? I have ended up with a score of 29 on speaking even though I am a native English speaker. I was not expecting full marks by any means but i was extremely shocked by 29!

I didn't press next after I finished my speaking answer and I waited for the timer to run out before I pressed next. There were also some extremely loud candidates in my room!

Pauses are one reason. Another reason can be the mic position. If you mic is sitting directly in from of your lips, it can register berating as well and that can cause the system to miss the words you are speaking. I was advised about this issue before taking the test and fortunately was able to score 90 each and 87 for speaking  in first attempt. Funny thing is that in speaking, during repeat sentence, I was able to repeat only 4 sentences completely, rest were partially correct  (but I didn't umm or aaa, i just kept speaking)

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I had this problem with Pte..I scored 0 on speaking! I tried to appeal but it would cost the same as redoing it..the person I spoke to said pte is best if you r not a native speaker! I then did ilets with was a much better experience and scored all 9's.

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No point appealing, the test is just remarked using the same computer that marked it before and it costs the same as doing the test again (but takes much longer to get your result back).

Read the advice about microphone and completing the timer manually if you are already finished and try again (or take IELTS next time)

Please don't waste your money on a remark you will not change the outcome

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Hi,

Just to share, from my last post, I had retaken PTE again with tips about the microphone in mind, but unfortunately, each speaking results ended up worst than the previous. 😞At that point, I accepted the fact that PTE probably wasn’t for me as for some reason the mic just couldn’t capture my voice so no point spending more money retrying on the same system. 

I switched to IELTS and got a score of 9  for speaking, listening, reading and 8 for writing. My suggestion for those still struggling with the speaking part for PTE, as long as your writing is strong (I would have to admit the expectation for writing is a lot higher for IELTS but at least it is something u can work on improving constructively), don’t waste your time on PTE. 
 

Best of Luck! 

Edited by Winkky

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Hi,

 

I just wanted to share my experience. I ended up taking the PTE 3 times despite being a native English speaker born in the UK. I complained to PTE the first 2 times claiming that the speaking marking process was flawed as I have taken several mock PTE test and always achieved scores in the 70s or 80s. They refunded my fees back due to technical issues they found after their investigation.

Even after going through this, I thought I would give it one more shot and ended up getting 84. I changed my microphone position to just above my nostrils so my breathing was not picked up. Previously I had it to the side of my mouth or below my mouth. You might have to speak a bit louder but the speech is much more clearer. Hope this helps!

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On 11/12/2016 at 22:21, dthomp123 said:

Hi there,

 

My scores from first attempt was: L 88 R 88 S 67 W 90

Then after lots of speaking practice: L 89 R 76 S 69 W 88

 

The only thing I can think of for my failing the 2nd speaking section was the fact that my pen didn't work for the first retell lecture and this threw me somewhat as I fumbled around to find and get the other pen into action. I'm not sure about a third attempt at the PTE as without feedback to know where I am going wrong I'd worry that I will just keep on failing it. I'll probably get a session with a language tutor who knows what is expected for IELTS speaking and perhaps go on to try this exam instead, here in London it seems to be a well known exam, it may be that I am not suited to a fast paced computer based test !

 

Regards

 

Dominic

I had done a few practice tests before doing the actual PTE exam and realised doing them that actually taking notes seems to make the end result worse than just listening and recalling.

To the people not used to talking to a headset without the ability to see body language, even a native speaker tends to sound forced and robotic. This gets you marked down quite heavily. It's best to try and imagine you are talking on a phone to someone you know rather than concentrating on getting great BBC accents

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